It’s time to trade out those tiny dots for a birthday cake!
Pac-Man, the iconic video game character, just turned thirty five! The classic game was released in 1980. It was a massive success then and continues to be played worldwide to this day. The little guy has become a timeless icon and a huge part of pop culture. To celebrate his birthday I’ve compiled a list of things every Pac-Man fan should know!
- Ever wonder where Pac-Man got his name? Well, it comes from “paku-paku taberu” which is Japanese for the chomping sound he makes as he eats the dots. It’s basically the Japanese equivalent of “nom nom nom”.
- He’s going to be a movie star! This coming August, Pac-Man will be staring beside superstar Adam Sandler in a movie called “Pixels”. The movie will be about classic video game characters, like Pac-Man, coming to wreak havoc on Earth.
- The ghost have names and nicknames! The red ghost is named Shadow (nickname Blinky). The pink ghost is named Speedy (nickname Pinky). The blue ghost is named Bashful (nickname Inky). The orange ghost is named Pokey (nickname Clyde). Yeah…you read right….Clyde. Ha!
- The ghosts have personalities. Toru Iwatani said in an interview that each ghost had a distinct set of personality traits and behaviors that were specific to them.
- The best possible score? The perfect score is 3,333,360 points. And the first person to ever achieve it was Billy Mitchell from Hollywood, Florida. It was confirmed by the Twin Galaxies International Scoreboard on July 3, 1999. It supposedly took Mitchell SIX HOURS to finish. Now that is commitment!
- Within the first year and a half more than 350,000 arcade cabinets were sold. Thats one billion dollars (each cabinet retailed at about $2400).
- Hanna-Barbera produced an animated television series about Pac-Man. It aired on ABC for two years in the early 80’s and was the first t.v. show based off of a video game.
- Buckner and Garcia released their song Pac-Man Fever in 1981. If you haven’t heard it before, seriously, go find it. I promise you, you won’t regret it! – “I’m going out of my miiiiiiind”
- Where did Pac-Man’s shape come from? Creator Iwatani historically has had two answers. One is that the character is inspired by a pizza that’s missing a slice. Alternatively, in 1986 he stated that the design is inspired by simplifying the Japanese character for mouth (kuchi)…which looks like this –> 口
- There is a Ms. Pac-Man! She was created as a way of giving thanks to all the females who have played and enjoyed Pac-Man over the years.
So with that we wish a big Happy Birthday to Pac-Man! We’ll see you in theaters August 12th!